Shamrock Shuffle 8K: Running season opens in the Windy City
An estimated 40,000 runner’s helped kick-off Chicago’s traditional rite of spring for the 33rd Annual Shamrock Shuffle 8K providing a celebratory atmosphere of a summer festival. Today was a day of first’s:
1. First time running without a race bib - we won’t say exactly why this ended up happening, but should you have any questions, please direct them to one Mr. Kevin Connolly
2. First time running with Opedix tights – generously donated from CEO Kim Gustafson. This product aligns the knee joint, distributing knee “load” by reducing knee pain as well as quadriceps fatigue.
Unseasonably warm weather made for excellent running conditions. Running enthusiasts hit the start line at Grant Park as corral after corral were released into downtown Chicago. Passing by Trump Towers, Kevin and I made our way toward Mile 1 marker and stopped to give my parents a hug/photo op – no doubt immediately posted on Facebook by my father (post-race intel determined it was 3 mins afterward). Miles 2, 3 and 4 flew as we ran past the world-famous Chicago Theatre, over several Chicago river bridges and through Chicago’s “Loop,” staring down the Sears Tower with a mile-long stretch on famed State Street all while filming several minutes of footage at a time.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, “Finishing his first 8K run was downtown resident Donny Jekels, 46. He entered because ‘two years ago I couldn’t tie my shoelaces. I wasn’t fit and I thought that was a wakeup call.‘ He said he lost 30 pounds in 2 years, using exercise and watching his diet. The father-son running tandem of Mike and Mario Woods had their own friendly competition, which the 65-year-old dad from South Holland won.”
43 mins later, slightly behind Abdelaaziz Atmani of Indianapolis with a winning time of 23 mins 18 secs, Kevin and I finished the 4.97 mile trek with the promise of a free beer at Grant Park and music being played from a stage near Buckingham Fountain.
And what about the 3 First’s? Well…we didn’t get pulled off the course because the race was relatively laid back making for a fun run: check. The Opedix running pants definitely worked! The material was comfortable, my legs felt great, and it was clear that some pressure was being distributed away from the tough wear and tear zone of my knees: check, check. The film footage?….I wish I had thought of this sooner: check, check, check.
As for the post-race festivities, I will just leave it at this: checkmate!
To watch exclusive footage during the race, go to: Running through downtown Chicago
To see more photos, go to: Shamrock Shuffle 8K